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This instalment in my A-Z of Australian megafauna series has been long overdue (the last one was written way back in October 2013) so, without further ado, we’ll get straight into talking about it!
This time, it’s one of the most, if not the iconic Australian megafauna taxon, Diprotodon. Read on, for a brief introduction to the quintessential extinct Aussie. The name Diprotodon means “two front teeth” and refers to the enlarged, constantly growing first incisors of the animal.
It was the very first fossil mammal to be described from Australia and it was named by none other than the man who coined the name dinosaur, Richard Owen, in 1838.
It still remains uncertain exactly how many species of Diprotodon there were, estimates vary between one to eight depending on who you talk to. However, studies have revealed that Diprotodon was most likely sexually dimorphic, implying that some of the other named species are in fact just members of the opposite sex.
Paywall is down on this story.
Every drug certified by the FDA must be tested using LAL, a substance found only in horseshoe crab blood. Every single person in America who has ever had an injection has been protected by this ‘forgettable’ sea creature.
Each year, more than 25 million animals are used for scientific research in the U.S. More than 90 percent of those are mice - sort of. These lab-raised animals don’t burrow or gather like their wild peers. They are more like abstractions of human ills, mouse models of disease, genetically engineered to die in a very particular way.
"This is the central contradiction of animal experimentation: Mice are like us in all the ways that matter, so they’re used as stand-ins for humans - but the moral significance of those similarities is ignored," says Justin Goodman, who has been an animal rights activist since he saw scientists drill holes in the heads of monkeys as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut.
Since the 1980s, the rise of transgenesis - the science of genetic engineering - has brought with it a seemingly endless series of biomedical breakthroughs. It has also opened up a field of inquiry about the unnerving price of all this. “The use of primates in research has increased, and the use of mice has exploded,” Goodman tells Newsweek.
This sheep hid in a cave for years, running from its fears of the shears.
IMPORTANT NEWS BREAK: See a few stars who look like their pets.
Anyone in the New York area who wants to meet Lil Bub, she’ll be at the BARC Animal Shelter in Brooklyn tonight from 5 - 7 PM raising money for local shelter animals.
Oh please go say hi to Lil’ Bub (and help some animals in need while you’re at it).
If you live in Minneapolis and love cat videos, boy, do we have an event for you:
On Aug. 30, the well-respected Minneapolis institution the Walker Art Center will hold the first-ever film festival of Internet cat videos… It’s “more of a social experiment,” says the organizer and a Walker programming director, Katie Hill. It was started to see whether the online cat community would even go outside, says Hill, who has two cats herself.